I am pretty sure my oldest son was seven-years-old when I posted my first-ever-blog.
Like trains and finger paint and first grade. Seven.
This summer, we celebrated a thirteen-year-old future man.
Like Rubix cube and Ruffles and middle school. Thirteen.
And we have all grown up the past thirteen years. Moms and dads and brothers growing up with one another.
Jesus making us look more like Jesus by giving us life-sized mirrors of ourselves in one another. The molding kind of relationships that break us and make us cry — cry out in need for grace and forgiveness. And cry out belly laughs — hooting at silly things that make sense to no one but us. Crying tears of joy and crying glorious praise to the Giver of our gifts.
Thirteen years of snuggles and back rubs and football and countless bags of Skittles. Thirteen years of bedtime books and after school slushies.
The night of his party, a reality hit me as he blew out those thirteen little candles. Each flame representing a year of our lives blessed by him.
The reality that in about five more candles …. he could be gone.
Like high school and prom and graduation. Five.
And the thought makes me want sink into a mommy comma induced by scrapbooks, home movies and hours of Thomas the Tank Engine on replay.
But the thought also makes me more present. More present in the teenage moments that rock. And present in the moments that rock our world — to its core.
We really only have them for a season, don’t we?
A season made of memories and candles and 18 flickers of flame.
Oh mom. Oh dad. Let us steward the minutes well.
Steward the sillies and the sass and do our darnedest to point them to their great big need for the cross.
As parenthood shows us our great big need, too.
Lord, what a gift these years are. I rejoice in you – always. In the hard and happy. In the toddlers and teens. I rejoice. And realize that You picked us for them. And them for us. And with tears I say THANK YOU for choosing me to place the candles in the cakes of your babies. Let me steward each year with grace and a growing awareness of Your presence and Your purpose for their lives. In Jesus Name, Amen.